Woman who worked as mentor at juvenile facility accused of indecency with child

ROSENBERG, Texas (KTRK) -- On Tuesday, Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a 64-year-old woman who's been charged with indecency with a child.

Deborah Helen Sutter, 64, of Rosenberg, was arrested at her place of employment in Sugar Land after an investigation that began on May 16.

"She doesn't fit the mold," said Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehels.
Officials say surveillance footage captured improper contact between Sutter and a juvenile in custody at the Fort Bend County Juvenile Facility. Sutter was a volunteer/mentor at the facility.

"Mentoring, playing games, cards, and talk to the kids," said detective Thomas Cantu. "Sometimes they don't have any family members who visit them."

Detectives met with the facility's staff and reviewed surveillance footage of Sutter's visits and found there were several occasions when Sutter made sexual contact with the child.

"We found out in our investigation she was reaching between his legs" Cantu said.

The staff member told authorities that he noticed something.

"Initially the boy was reaching over and touching on her. What caught his attention was the seating arrangement. They were supposed to sit across the table from each other. They were sitting next to each other," Cantu said.

The mentoring program is set up by the Fort Bend County Juvenile Probation Department, which runs background checks and fingerprint checks on the mentors annually.

Detectives interviewed Sutter, who they say has admitted to the indecency with a child. Detectives are gathering information as to all the juveniles Sutter has mentored since she gained access to them approximately three years ago.
This case is still under investigation.

The Chief of Juvenile Probation said in a statement that mentors are screened before they're allowed to volunteer.

"We have the highest of standards for volunteers which are required to provide fingerprints, pass a criminal background check and be cleared by the state's child abuse registry. Unfortunately this volunteer chose to act inappropriately."

Any other potential victims are asked to contact authorities. If anyone is aware if Sutter has been a volunteer in any child-related activities, schools or churches, they are asked to pass that information on to the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office at 281-341-4665.

"This case is disturbing and disgusting," said Sheriff Troy Nehls. "Here is a woman who completely took advantage of her position as a mentor to behave as a predator."

Sutter is being held in the Fort Bend County Jail on a $50,000 bond.
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